Adversity and Character

Adversity and character

June 14, 2011 at 2:10pm

I wrote this way back in 2011! Yet, as I read these words, I am encouraged today!

Thought on adversity and the call of God. It is easy when the day of promotion and favor rest upon you, to obey God, and serve Him. It is when the hand of authority is against you, and your character is under attack, that it takes the supernatural strength of God to prevail, and not give up. Stand upon what He speaks, no matter what people or circumstances may scream. Your faith, and the purity of your heart will win the day, and God will be glorified in your obedience. Never allow smaller hearts or visions to dictate your greatness! Jesus is a great and mighty king, and you are great and mighty in Him. Refuse to compromise, but fully obey, remain humble, and He will exalt you in good season!

True Grace…

James Goll's photo.

The only right living we will ever experience, is ONLY by the grace of God.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

It is grace that teaches us to live right, and grace alone.

Here’s the way Jesus has worked this out in my life: Seems I do certain things, with good intentions, that in many cases fall short of excellence, due to my immaturity and lack of knowledge. As I go to the Lord to try and figure out why certain ventures did not turn out the way I had planned, often, He shows me a much higher way of doing the thing, that demands a far greater excellence of moral character.

I see it, yet know in and of myself, that to do what I clearly see, is not part of how I was raised, or known to ever behave.

So, I cry out to Him for GRACE to excel, to improve, to learn, to love, to walk in truth, that I can actually live a more righteous life.

Yes, I know, that position-ally, before the throne of God, I am loved, accepted, forgiven – that because of the blood of Jesus, I cannot ever become more holy than Jesus has already made me. Yet, the throne of God is called ‘the throne of grace’, the place where His power comes to teach me, in love, how to live the moral excellent life I long to live.

Some have forgotten this truth, that God is holy, and they preach a false grace, saying we can do as we please, because God loves us.

Jude 1:4
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ


When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, hear His words:

John 8: (NLT)

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

John 8:11 BRG

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

What a beautiful account revealing the love and power of God!

In love, Jesus forgave this woman about to be stoned. If this was all He did, it would be a beautiful story, yet, as Lord of the universe, whose eternal words carry the very power of God, He did something else. He said:


In those words came not only His manifest forgiveness, but also His power to leave her life of sin!
go and sin no more

Grace, the power of God, is the ONLY thing that can free us from a sinful lifestyle, the law will never accomplish this.

It is only those that hunger and thirst for righteousness that will be filled.

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I know you love me, and have only good for my life. Teach me to live pure, holy, with excellence before you. Show me the next level of honor You would have me to walk in, and then give me grace to actually do it. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

Balaam – Prophet for Hire!

Balaam - Prophet for Hire!


Okay, let’s look at this Bible character named Balaam, who is probably in hell today, to see if we can learn what not to do as leaders.

The Word of God is wonderful, in that it tells the truth, and we can learn from even bad examples, what not to do.

Ps 19: 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes….

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Here we see the end of the story, Balaam the prophet, being killed by the people of God:

Numbers 31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

Question is, why did God have Balaam killed?

Num 13:
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

What was the counsel of Balaam?

Balaam doctrine

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Here we see the error of Balaam, and his motive. He was greedy, and sold out the gift of God for reward.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Yet, here, we see what he did, he counseled the enemy of God to tempt the people of God, to eat food sacrificed to idols, and to have sexual relationships out of marriage.

Numbers 25:1 ¶ And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
Joshua 24:10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

Nehemiah 13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Micah 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

sow wallow

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

So, we see it. Balaam, the prophet, the one who heard and knew the voice of God, sold out his gift for money and position. It cost him his life, and he is eternally in hell today.

What he did is amazingly wicked!

Three times Balak hired him to curse the children of Israel, and 3 times, God flowed through him pronouncing a blessing instead of his intended curse. Had he been smart and righteous, he should have left Balak, and joined the people of God, and won every battle, and lived for God.

Yet, he got greedy. Obviously, the Midianites and Moabites had material wealth, and he wanted him some of it.

He was once a broke prophet, living peacefully in his hut, now he has kings knocking at his door.

So what does he do?

He knows that God is holy, and cannot lie. In fact, he had even prophesied it: Nu 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

no lie
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!

Do you see it?

God was with Israel! His manifest presence, His glory, His power, His blessing, His anointing, and surely the host of heaven, angel armies protecting His people.

angell armies

Yet, in this verse we see why.

The children of Israel are living according to the law of God. They are fully separated unto Him, so that the prophet, by the Spirit of God proclaimed: ‘He beheld no iniquity in Jacob, nor has he seen perverseness in Israel’

Holiness produced power!

Fully obedient people, were met, blessed, protected, delivered and prospered by the person and presence of the living God, Creator of heaven and earth!

Here is where amazing wickedness occurred:

Balaam knew God, and knew His word. He saw this by the Holy Spirit, and knew that the people of God, with God, were unstoppable.

So what does he do? He counsels Balak, to throw a party for the men of Israel. Get your best delicacies cooking, and the prime cuts of meat that you have sacrificed to your gods, demon spirits. Then, get your women dressed seductively, and have them seduce the men of God, and have sex with them.

When you do, God Himself will withdraw from His people, and will destroy them Himself.

This he did, and Scripture records:

Number 23: 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Now, what are we to learn from this today?

We, that bear the holy offices of God, five-fold ministry gifts, set into the earth to train, equip, and edify the people of God, the Body, the Bride of Christ.

Well, we are to prepare a holy bride for Jesus: one without spot or wrinkle.

Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

God is still holy, and again I find myself stuck on this theme.

I am convinced that a holy, obedient people, in the hands of our God is unstoppable.

Strong, healthy, wealthy, blessed, joyful, loving, victorious in the trials of life!

Yet, how many of us fail the money test?

We get an extra couple of dollars, and we spend it watching a worldly movie, or attending a worldly event.

We say: ‘Father, if You give me an extra $50 this week, I will spend it on (missions, orphans, our ministry building program, or whatever financial need is before us in the kingdom), yet we flunk the prosperity test.

God gives the money, and instead of using it for the work of God, we go out whoring with the world.

Does God give prosperity?


Deut 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.


Money with a mission, wealth given to establish His covenant in the earth, or in this dispensation, the gospel.

Mr 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Ro 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Ga 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Do I preach prosperity?


I cannot see in the word of God, anywhere that people of God, fully serving God, were not prospered.

Yet, beware the sin of Balaam.

That is compromising the Word of God, in any area, for financial gain.

To whom much is given, much is required.

In my life, I have withdrawn for many great business opportunities, simply because I do not feel strong enough in my office and calling, to take the chance of mixing ministry and business. I fear God, and seek purity of heart and holiness, and I am coming out of the business world, having stepped again into full time ministry.

My message will always be, holiness unto the Lord, be pure, and ALL IN, 100% sold out to Jesus, without compromise. I will use all of my position,, influence, words, wealth, and teaching to promote only the cause of Christ, for I feel that the time is short, and there is no time to do anything else in these last days.


Yet, I have seen the sin of Balaam at work, yea even here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, bless the holy city.

I drove a friend home from Friday night prayer one night, and he lives in an apartment complex, known for weekend partying and gang activity. This man is sold out for Jesus, and is doing great things in reaching people with the gospel. As we drove, he shared his vision of raising up a strong ministry in the North side of Tulsa, to reach youth for Christ.

When we pulled into his parking lot, full of the Holy Ghost and fire, I rolled down my window as four youth with a case of beer on one guys shoulder, were approaching the truck, obviously on their way to party somewhere. So, I called out to them: ‘Hey, my friend and I were talking about getting some sort of ministry going around here, that would be relevant to your lives, to reach you for Jesus, what do you think would work?’

Now I wouldn’t try this approach in an area other than Tulsa, where there are 1400 or so churches, and many Christian television and radio stations. You would think that everyone here, has at least heard the gospel, once.

Well, one of the guys, kind of gave me a dirty look, and kept walking, but the two girls with them approached the truck. One of them sat cross legged on the ground beside my driver’s window, and we began to talk.

She said: ‘Are you serious? Do you really want to know what it would take?”

I said, ‘Yes, tell me sister!”

She said, ‘I am 19 years old, pregnant with my third child. The first two children are from youth pastors who I slept with, who will not admit we had sex. I’m not saying that what I did was right, but if you want a ministry to reach youth here, in this community, you gotta solve the zipper problem with most of the ministers.’

Ah, the old fashioned Billy Graham statement comes alive:

‘As a man of God, don’t touch the girls, the gold, or the glory!’

whole world

Charisma does not equal character.

Balaam had charisma. Imagine if you will, the great pomp and ceremony, by which he built the alters of God, and ceremonially sacrificed before the Lord, the animals required. He had anointing. He had the gifts of the spirit. He had reputation as a prophet of God. He had a heavenly office.

Yet, he did not develop the character to carry the call.

Here is where I live: fighting daily, to watch over my words to fulfill them. Fighting to avoid any appearance of evil with women, money, or pride. To allow Holy Spirit to go deep inside my heart, searching my deepest motives, and transforming me, so that even my motives are right before the Lord.

I am not content to only do the right thing, but seek to do the right thing, for the right reason: that is for the glory and love of Jesus.

I shared my heart for a reason, man of God.

holy ground

You are right there with me. The pressure, the subtle flirtatious innuendo’s of seductive women (yes, they are real, it’s not personal, it’s just demons working through carnal women, to destroy you and your ministry), the business deals and multi-level ‘opportunities’ that flood your inbox, the praise of flatterers testing you, are common to every leader, and you must not fail!

Proverbs 27:21 KJ21

As the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold, so is a man tried by praise

Whether you are called in ministry, business, government, education, or media, whatever your vocation, holiness is the standard: a clean, pure life, free from sin.

pure blessed

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.


Jesus spoke of the differences between hirelings and true shepherds who lovingly lay down their lives to protect God’s people:

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Be strong, courageous, pure, holy, and fulfill your heavenly office and calling, without compromise.
This is not a job, or any mere earthly vocation, but a heavenly office and calling.
Be the true shepherd you are created to be.
If you are compromised, let God forgive, purge, prune, and deliver you from your unhealthy relationships and business deals that make merchandise of the flock in your care.

I am not sure who this is for, my ramblings…but let’s pray:

‘Father, I pray for the brother or sister reading this today. May they fully consecrate to holiness, obedience, purity, and excellence of conduct, in whatever you have called them to do. Bring Your power, and truth, to extricate them from situations, relationships, business dealings, and distractions, that are contrary to Your will for their lives, that they might live, led by You, in purpose, passion, joy, and victory. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World
I was at a conference one day, and I heard a minister named Jill Austin, make the following statement, that really helped me at the time.
She said that the anointing upon a persons life, can be compared to light. That when God promotes a person, in a local congregation or community, they are like a 100 watt light bulb, burning bright for Jesus.
If the Christian community where they serve, is moving in a corporate anointing that is equivalent, to say, 60 Watts, then the new light on a person, exposes the darkeness of others in the organization, and usually, these very ones, who should perhaps embrace the new level of power, glory, and revelation manifest, become its prime persecutors…
This really spoke to me at the time, and still does today.
Hebrews 10:32
New International Version (NIV)
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
Hebrews 10:32
King James Version (KJV)
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
As I have thought about this today, I have something I need to say about it.
In my life, this has been my experience, and it is indeed Scriptural. When God authentically speaks to me, and I have, in my zeal and passion, shared what I saw or heard, often, the very people I thought would become my closest encouragers and supporters, often became my most brutal wet blankets, trying to put out my fire, or in directly opposing and persecuting me!
Ouch! Touch any nerves for anyone yet?
OK, rather than bash some great people, let’s look and see if perhaps, I have learned a few things, that may prevent you some similar pain.
First of all, let me say, that Jesus Himself, was crucified, and He did not promise you and I an easy life,
Matthew 10:24
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall havetribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In this life, there are hard things we must walk though, no compromise.
Yet, John Wayne made this statement:
‘Life is hard, It’s even harder if you are stupid!’
What I want to share, is some of my own stupidity, that I pray, may save you some of the pain I have endured.
First of all, let me make some statements:
1. When you authentically hear God, ask HIM if you are to share what He showed you. Sometimes stuff is just for you, to be walked out in faith. Joseph got thrown in a pit and sold into slavery by His brothers, for sharing when perhaps he should of shut up! Yet, there times that God speaks, and let the chips fall where they may, PREACH IT!
Luke 12:3
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

2. Write it Down! If it was important enough for God, Creator of the Universe to speak to you, surely you can write it down. Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Sometimes what God showed you is immediate, but often, it may be for some years down the line. Sometimes, what He says, is sovereign, and will surely come to pass, as in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that are ‘as He wills’, other times, things must be believed, received, and walked out in faith. These words must be guarded in our hearts, for satan would love to steal. Matt 13: 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Rather than go on this whole topic, let me share a couple of practical thoughts on relationally dealing with people in love on both sides of this fence.
History is full of examples of people that learned the world was round, when critics claimed it to be flat, learned to fly, and did what had never been done before.
First of all I think of the words of Kenneth E. Hagin, ‘My light does not burn any brighter, by snuffing out the light of another.’
What seems to happen, often, is when God speaks to someone, whose life appears to be chaos, something amazing, that He alone can do, and if you have breath in your body, your natural cynicism immediately says (at least mentally), (Yeah, right!).
Yet, God loves to oppose the proud and exalt the humble, and change the world through broken people, for is it not written:
1 Corinthians 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

God may have actually spoken to them, and He can do anything!
Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

If the person has a call to do something great, give them these verses, and counsel them to qualify the call, according to the Word of God.
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work).
2 Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher,
3 Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing andpeaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means].
4 He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful.
5 For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?
6 He must not be a new convert, or he may [develop a beclouded and stupid state of mind] as the result of pride [be blinded by conceit, and] fall into the condemnation that the devil [once] did.
7 Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap.

These verses must be the battle cry, for any of us authentically called into Christian leadership, whether in the church, or business world.
God may give a visionary directive, but the vision must be qualified through character.
This is not some secret formula, rather, is the application of these verses, to our personal lives, and for those of us honestly seeking the power of God to change this generation, we discover we NEED God’s power to walk in this, faithfully, diligently, daily.
So, whether you are the soul on fire, filled with passion, zeal, and clear revelation, or the one who sees them burning, while it seems like their personal life is flakey, let’s walk in love, and help each other get to where we need to go in the kingdom of God.
We might need their revelation (if THEY are the 100 Watt bulb) or we might need their character and stability (If WE are the 100 watt bulb).
On both sides of the fence, the love of Jesus must prevail. God hates rebellion, and he who sows discord among the brethren….
Much can be said here, but this is all I need to share today, to get this out there. God would have love, and unity in His Body, His church, this precious Bride.
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, grant me illumination, power, light, miracles, creativity to change this generation, and to bless this earth! May I ever seek you for holiness and purity of heart and conduct, as you develop your love and character in me. May I never be a wet blanket to another person’s fire and zeal, but in humility, gentleness, and love, may I be quick to pray, as I see glaring needs in them, and their ministries. Help me to bring others, into what you have shown me, free from spiritual pride, haughtiness, and arrogance of way. Show me what and where to share, with whom, when to pray, and when to say, what I know to be true, that I might be the vessel of honor you need me to be, in this generation, for the sake of the harvest, and Your great name Lord Jesus, I pray, Amen!”